Baked Chicken Ruben

I made the following for my Oktoberfest event. You can read and get other recipes from the event HERE.

Joelen’s Baked Chicken Ruben
recipe HERE

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (16 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained and pressed
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 1/4 cups thousand island salad dressing
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Place chicken in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place sauerkraut over chicken and top with cheese slices. Pour dressing over all and cover dish with aluminum foil.
Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (fork can be easily inserted and juices run clear). Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Bursting With Blueberries!

In addition to the wonderful Wolfgang Puck recipes we feasted on for tonight’s dinner, I also created a non-Wolfgang Puck salad – Blueberry Spinach Salad. This salad is not only delicious, but takes on a different twist of the classic Strawberry Spinach Salad.
Here’s the my adaption of recipe for Blueberry Spinach Salad, orginally from

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons raspberry puree
2 teaspoons honey mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (10 ounce) package fresh spinach, torn
1 (4 ounce) package blue cheese, crumbled
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

In a bowl, whisk the first five ingredients and shake well. In a large salad bowl, toss the spinach, blue cheese, blueberries and pecans. Add dressing and toss gently; serve immediately.

*I’m also submitting this recipe to the Tried Tested & True blogging event, hosted by Equal Opportunity Kitchen. If you have any health-promoting tried, tested and true recipes, submit them to the event!*

Red Wine & Sherry Vinagrette Dressing

This recipe was made for my 2007 Holiday Party featuring an Italian inspired menu. You can read about it and view the additional recipes I made for this event HERE.

Italian green salad
with Red Wine & Sherry Vinagrette Dressing

1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sherry
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon italian seasoning

1 tablespoon sugar
salt & pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and serve with salads and/or use as a marinade.

Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Here are the recipes for the appetizers I’m serving up 2 hours prior to the Thanksgiving buffet dinner. I figured I’d post the recipes now before the kitchen chaos begins…

Shrimp Cocktail Platter
w/Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

2 tablespoons horseradish cream
1 1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
dash of black pepper

Combine all ingredients and chill.
Serve with cooked & chilled jumbo shrimp and a few slices of lemon.
**It’s best to make ahead to allow the flavors to meld.

Harvest Salad & Raspberry Vinaigrette

Tonight is focused on my Traditional fare menu and some desserts. Everything is set for the most part… and I approached it as if it were just one of my cooking class events where everything is prepped and ready to assemble. Here are recipes of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes on my menu.

Harvest Salad & Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing:

½ cup oil
½ cup raspberry puree
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon italian seasoning salt & pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients well.
This dressing will accompany my harvest salad that includes baby spinach, mache, Danish blue cheese, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and chopped apples.

Fruity Spinach Salad

Fruity Spinach Salad

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1 cup shredded chicken (I used leftover port glazed chicken)
1/8 cup cranberries
1/8 cup chopped walnuts

1/8 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup chopped apple
1/4 cup chopped pears

Combine above ingredients.
Toss with following dressing:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning

Tex mex chopped salad

Tex mex chopped salad w/spicy roasted chicken
& cilantro lime vinaigrette

Spicy Roasted Chicken:
cut up chicken pieces
olive oil
Seasonings: 1 teaspoon of each
black pepper
chili powder
onion powder
garlic powder
sazon seasoning w/cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all seasonings in a small bowl and mix.
Season chicken pieces with seasoning mix liberally.
Place seasoned chicken in dutch oven.
Pour olive oil over chicken.
Bake in preheated oven uncovered for 1 hour.
Allow chicken to cool.
Debone chicken and add to the following salad…
Tex Mex Chopped Salad:
romaine lettuce, chopped
spinach leaves, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 can of black beans, rinsed
1/2 can of sweet corn, drained
1 small cucumber or pickle, diced
1 roma tomato, seeded & chopped
a few baby carrots, diced
handful of cilantro, chopped
chopped, deboned spicy roasted chicken
crushed tortilla chips

Combine above salad ingredients except tortilla chips and toss.
Serve with the cilantro lime vinaigrette below.
Top with crushed tortilla chips.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:
juice of 1 lime
olive oil
handful of chopped cilantro (or to your taste)
salt, pepper & sazon con cilantro to taste

Balsamic Vinaigrette Tossed Salad

Balsamic Vinaigrette Tossed Salad

romaine lettuce, chopped

roma tomatoes, diced
sliced black olives
fontina cheese, cubed

2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon dried italian seasoning

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except dressing ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients and pour over salad.
Toss to coat.

Ravioli Road to a Better Diet

So it’s another lonely night at home since my husband is in class. Last week he mentioned he wanted to take baby steps towards changing our diet to become pollo-vegetarians, which is classification of vegetarians who aren’t really vegetarians. I guess simply put, he would like to avoid eating red meat (beef, lamb, and maybe pork) and focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, seafood/fish and chicken.In an effort to support him and his valid reasons why, tonight’s dinner was meatless – and lazy. I just pulled out frozen homemade spinach & feta ravioli I made months ago. With just a quick tomato sauce, some splashes of red wine vinegar and seasonings, dinner was done.

Here’s the ridiculously simple tomato sauce I made to jazz up my spinach & feta ravioli:

2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1/4 chicken broth
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
2 cloves minced garlic
2 splashes of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
To taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
To garnish: chiffonade of fresh basil

In a saucepan, combine ingredients and allow to simmer until warmed through.

Summery Cinnamon Salads

It’s been a busy busy weekend so today I wanted to take it easy for dinner. With random ingredients in my fridge, I figured salad was the way to go. However for a twist, I thought a fun cinnamon dressing would pair up nicely with what I had to work with. This dinner was inspired by a great friend, Marta. She introduced me to cinnamon raspberry salad dressing when we had dinner with her a few weeks ago. With this dressing I made 2 pork carnita salads since my husband and I have different tastes.

For my salad, I tossed in chopped strawberries and added some blue cheese crumbles.
For my husband’s salad, I added fresh homemade pico de gallo and shredded cheese.
Here is my recipe for cinnamon salad dressing:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
pinch of ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Whisk until thoroughly combined.